A structured approach to the migration of digital records.
What is the Digital Archives Migration Methodology?
The Digital Archives Migration Methodology supports the transfer of digital records from NSW Government agencies to the State archives. Rather than adopting a single approach for all such transfers, State Records NSW defines custom migration plans to suit the particular requirements of different sets of records. Each transfer is managed as a separate project. The methodology is a framework to guide these projects.
Which digital records are eligible for transfer to the State archives?
Digital records, like paper or other formats, are eligible to become part of the State archives when:
- they are identified as required as State archives in a current authorised retention and disposal authority, and
- they are no longer in use for official purposes.
Guidelines issued by State Records under section 29 of the State Records Act 1998 establish the basic requirements to be met for a transfer of records (in any format) to the State archives. These should be read in conjunction with this methodology.
Why use the methodology?
By blending project management and data migration techniques, the Digital Archives Migration Methodology provides a structured and planned approach to each migration project. It also permits flexibility, for dealing with many types of migrations, from very simple ones to complex ones involving many stakeholders.
Using the Digital Archives Migration Methodology will help to ensure that:
- migrations are effective and undertaken based on migration plans that are tailored to the system/s and the agency concerned
- digital records required as State archives are managed appropriately by State Records NSW in the Digital Archives
- agencies continue to have access to their permanent value digital records if and when required; and
- the public can use open access digital format State archives that document NSW Government decision making, functions, history, heritage and the rights and entitlements of citizens.
Can the methodology be used in other contexts?
The focus of the methodology is on managing the migration of records which are required to be retained as digital State archives. However, this methodology also represents a useful management tool that may be adapted for use by agencies who are seeking to ensure the digital continuity of their records through migrations not involving State Records NSW, for example in situations such as transfer of function or agency mergers. It is complemented by State Records’ detailed advice on the migration of digital records in the guideline Managing digital records.
What are the deliverables?
The primary deliverable of a project will be the safe migration of digital records of continuing value into the State digital archives. Other deliverables can include:
- a remote access delivery service for the agency to its records while they remain closed to public access
- open to public access records made available via State Records' website
- the ability for the agency to decommission or otherwise delete source records and systems
- documentation for State Records and the agency of the migration process, preservation actions taken and authorisations for the transfer of control.
Who should be involved?
It will vary for each project; at a minimum, an agency representative authorised to approve the transfer of control of the records to State Records will be involved in the project. They may be assisted by records management professionals, ICT professionals, third party providers of services such as data hosting, or representatives from the business.
Published July 2014